Residents in a Lewis community are being urged to continue to boil tap water before
use due to the presence of E.coli in the village supply.
Some 218 families in the North Tolsta district have to take measures to ensure they
are not affected by the bacteria.
E.coli was found following testing of a routine sample in a holding tank for the
Other villages supplied by Loch Ionadagro are not affected.
Bottled water is being delivered to affected customers until they receive a letter
to say the notice has been lifted.
Tonight (Wed) Scottish Water said the boil water warning is still in place.
Further samples of the water supply are being sent to a mainland laboratory for analysis.
A spokesman said: “We are working closely with NHS Western Isles.
“We are continuing to focus on returning supplies to normal and would like to thank
customers for their understanding and patience.”
Initial advice was not to use water at all except for flushing toilets but leaflets
issued with deliveries of bottled water today said bathing, showering, washing and
laundry could still be done as normal provided the water was boiled first.
However, hot water can be used for washing dishes.
Tap water must be boiled before drinking, cleaning teeth, preparing babies feeds,
washing salad or cleaning open wounds.
Pets should not be given food or drink prepared with water straight from the tap,
said the notices.
Tolsta resident Annabel Smith said there was “a bit of panic” locally when it emerged
that E.coli was responsible for the safety warning.
People were “reassured once we were told the water was fine once it was boiled.
“The last update was to keep boiling the water.”
Local councillor John A Maciver said: “They have to have three clear samples before
they can declare it safe again.”
He said the village supply tank was 50 years old and should be upgraded.
He said there are “concerns” over the health implications but hopes it was a rogue
sample and the problem is resolved as quickly as possible.
Annabel Smith is following advice to boil tap water
Testing for E.coli continues in village water supply